What is DIWA Innovation Lab? 

In celebration for our 35th year in the industry of providing quality educational resources in the Philippines, we have started this week our nationwide implementation of the Diwa Innovation Lab.

 

What is DIWA Innovation Lab? 

It is a pop up science showcase implemented by Diwa Learning Systems that features the use of new technologies to encourage the love for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

 

Why is Diwa conducting the Innovation Lab? 

Diwa upholds its battlecry: Innovation in Education. We wanted the students to elevate the student’s learning experiences and enhance their creativity and critical thinking skills. We wanted to make innovation our way of life and do things differently so that in one way or another, we can make an impact to the lives of our teachers and students and make teaching better.

 

Where are you implementing Diwa Innovation Lab? 

We are going around the Philippines — North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao! We wanted to share these new technologies and how to use it inside the classroom with the teachers and students as our immediate audience.

 
How do teachers and students benefit from participating in the Diwa Innovation Lab?

Both the teachers and students will learn about how to use the new technologies showcased in the Innovation Lab. Also, they are encouraged to share what they learn to their classmates once they go back to their schools.

 

So now, I’m sharing to you our photos for the day:

Design Thinking in the Classroom

We just started our nationwide Innovator’s Congress (ICon)  here in Metro Manila. We have gathered educators from different subject areas to train them with new skills and techniques for their teaching strategies. This year, our theme focused on design thinking.

You may be asking, what is design thinking, especially once applied in education?

Design Thinking is a dynamic problem-solving approach to help educators become creators, innovators and emphatic beings. Imagine you have a problem you want to solve. Let’s say you have a problem of frequently forgetting things. Your initial approach is to immediately brainstorm for a solution. In design thinking, however, you look deeper into the problem first. You think of the root causes, the context and the people involved. In this case, if you always forget things, you will look into the whole picture — the why, the how, and the who would benefit when a solution is delivered for a problem.

 

How can design thinking be applied in education? Abesamis & Robles (2017) shares three key points:

  • As a teaching strategy

You can engage students with design thinking projects. With this, students can go beyond the “learning by doing” approach in doing their final projects.

  • As a mindset or solving problems in school

As educators, you are in a unique position to solve school problems being in constant contact with your students. Because of this, you can create a team and address school issues using the design thinking approach and engage a community in the decision-making process.

  • As a process for lesson planning and designing materials

In preparing school materials, you can use a logbook to create a student profile, that in effect, can be used as a primary resource while drafting your lesson plans. With each student profile, you can log any feedback gathered after an activity; thus, it will be easier for you to gain ownership of your student’s learning progress and become a better teacher.

 

As an educator, you can also be a designer. As a designer,  you start with the people and focus on their needs, understanding the context of their problem. Armed with insights, you then start designing ideas and solutions. You iteratively refine these solutions by gathering high-quality feedback before finalizing your output. With this process, a teacher and school leader like you can create an authentic learning experience for your students.

 

How to let your students experience the design thinking process? Here’s how:

Emphatize

  • Encourage your students to look, listen and learn. Let them ask questions about the people, or about the circumstance. Let them explore all possible scenarios.

Define

  • Here, the students will generate and narrow down the data they’ve gathered based on their questions. They can now create their design challenge statement. A design challenge statement is the similar to the problem you want to address.

Ideation

  • The students here “go all out” with their solutions. They can just down all the ideas for their solution as many as they can.

Prototype

  • Once they have a chosen feasible solution, your students can start building tangible prototypes. It can be a mini-version of the product they want to build using scrap materials, or if it is a process or strategy, students can document their prototype through role-playing and videos.

Testing

  • If students have built a prototype, it is now necessary to show it to their target audience for feedback. This feedback will serve as a springboard for improving their work and building a better solution to the problem. The final work can then be their reference once they decided to implement these prototypes into bigger and better solution to the problem they wanted to address.

 

In our ICon event, our teacher-participants became students for a day and used design thinking in their activities:

 

By using design thinking, both Filipino teachers and the students can create better and feasible solutions to problems at hand. Not only that, using this approach can make inventors and effective problem-solvers in no time. In a world where innovation is the new norm, you have to constantly be curious and update your skillset so you can always have something exciting to share inside the classroom. 🙂

 

Reference:

Abesamis, G. & Robles, K. (2017). Design Thinking. Quality Teacher Magazine Vol. 14 No. 2, Diwa Learning Systems and Bato Balani Foundation Inc.

 

Pangalangan, A. (2017). Prepare Learners to Become Effective Problem Solvers. Quality Teacher Magazine Vol. 14 No. 2, Diwa Learning Systems and Bato Balani Foundation Inc.

What I Like About Genyo eLearning

Recently, we had product display during the CEAP convention in Davao, and I had the chance to interact with some school coordinator, administrators and some teachers. I got the chance to explain about our books, magazines and our e-Learning product. What’s more, I got the chance to appreciate fully our products because it is one in the market that offers much more than our competitors.

 

So, as an e-Learning advocate and a Genyo supporter since 2010, what do I like about Genyo e-Learning?

 

  1. Training and Technology Integration

    • With Genyo, teachers are trained to use the e-Learning platform at the start of the school year and at other dates as needed all year round. The teachers and the students not only gets trained about the system, but really, how to integrate its use inside the classroom, and during school events. There are schools who used Genyo for their quizzes, and others for their online quarterly examinations. There are also who used the platform for school-wide election, and others who use it for survey, or any other subject-related event such as Buwan ng Wika, English Month, or any even the World Teacher’s day.
    • Technology Integration is one standard required in the Philippine K-12 curriculum of the Department of Education, so with Genyo, it would be seamless to apply this standard for schools. There are also several schools who use Genyo for their PAASCU accreditation.
    • Malate Catholic School who has implemented their hybrid program with integrating technology in their curriculum is already a testament to how the training and technology integration can be successful for e-Learning implementation. Also, forums for training the administrators are provided so these schools can be at par in their e-Learning implementation with the global standards. You can read more on this article.
    • Lastly, the help of Learning Integration Specialists assigned in schools all-year-round makes it a better opportunity for the schools to move forward with e-Learning.
  2. Curriculum-Aligned Content

    • Genyo already has content housed inside its platform — with topics for English, Math, Science, Araling Panlipunan and Filipino. These content are animated, and ready-made. What’s more, our team already developed contents that are aligned with the learning competencies of the Philippine K-12 curriculum guide. One thing you just need to do is search the thousand contents that we have for your topic.
    • What if the contents are not aligned in your school curriculum? Don’t worry. There are options for the contents in Genyo to be mapped out to your curriculum, just ask the Learning Integration Specialist how to do it.
    • Last but not the least, aside from the lessons, there are also quizzes, games and interactive activities inside the platform that both teachers and students can take advantage of. These quizzes are either aligned with the lessons, or stand-alone. If you opt to customize a game that you can do for your lesson, no problem! That is possible too with our platform.
  3. Customizable Modules

    • Suppose you are a teacher, do you have less time for yourself because you need to do several administrative tasks as add-on for your lessons? With Genyo, you can just customize and create your own lesson packages from our own content, your own PowerPoint file, or just a link from your references list. You can also create quizzes and allow these to be assigned to your students as reviewer for an exam, or just a quiz included in your lesson. These lessons and quizzes also give you immediate feedback (if you opt it), so on your end, you can immediately analyze if your students did well for the quiz you’ve assigned. So, if you’re a teacher, tracking your student’s progress is very very important.
    • Announcements are also important especially if the school don’t have classes (maybe because of class suspension) yet teachers want the students to work on their homework. Instead of having the students just check social media, why not take advantage of technology to shout out those school requirements? For the past years, Genyo has been used as an announcement platform during on-the-spot suspension of classes because of provincial events, or even natural disasters coming their way.

 

So there. For the past years, I have worked as a Genyo advocate so I have an idea of how Genyo works and how it helps students, teachers and schools in integrating technology into their lessons and their school curriculum. I think these are also the reasons our partner schools have taken advantage since they have started their e-Learning journey with us. 🙂

DIWA Innovation Lab

For this week, we have been tapped as one of the sponsor exhibitor for the annual Convention of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP). Since we wanted to also promote Diwa’s 35th year in the publishing industry, we have come up with a showcase of the DIWA products, ranging from books, magazines and e-learning. Also, in line with our tagline “Innovation in Education” in the 21st century, we are promoting an all-in-one classroom experience for Philippine educators with the use of not only our existing products but also new technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). We call this our very own Diwa Innovation Lab

For this week, we are showcasing these technologies and you can see here how these educators are exploring these new tech. Bringing these tech to Philippine educators and really, inside the classroom where Filipino students are playing around and learning from it is something we can look forward to in the next few years. 🙂 
Booth Exhibit

Tribute to Teachers

Every year, we have been recognizing select teachers from all over the Philippines for their exemplary contribution on the field of education.

Our sister company, Bato Balani Foundation, Inc (BBFI), founded an advocacy campaign to extol the virtues of teaching by providing role models who inspire excellence not only for educators but for most Filipinos as well. This advocacy campaign is called, “The Many Faces of a Teacher”.

Private or public entities can nominate a teacher to be honored and recognized by BBFI in an annual gala gathering called “Tribute to Teachers”, in front of hundreds, sometimes thousands of educators. These nominees are then filtered, interviewed and selected by panel of judges from different sectors involved in the development of the education in the country. Four honorees are selected each year and recognized as leaders and unsung heroes in the teaching profession — those who can become sources of inspiration and knowledge for both teachers and students.

I have the opportunity to participate in this event every year as manpower. It inspires me most of really why I am staying at my current company, doing what I love — that is, I get to help the education sector in the Philippines in my own little way. Hearing the speeches of the honorees makes me want to salute all the teachers I know for their passion, hardwork and compassion to teach the next generation of this nation.

So to all the teachers, thank you for your hardwork and your compassion. Thank you for believing your students and thank you for thinking how the next generation of leaders are molded into the persons they could become.

Here are some photos from Bato Balani’s Tribute to Teachers 2017 last September 1:

Feeding my eLearning Interest

Technology plus learning equals eLearning.

Ever since college, I have this penchant for anything multimedia used for learning purposes. Anything that will lead me to developing eLearning materials, I’ve tried. When opportunity came to work as a school eLearning specialist at the field, and now product development specialist of elearning products, this interest shoot skyward.

I’ve been reading posts from elearningindustry.com and subscribed to feeds related to eLearning. I’ve also volunteered when training opportunities for Adobe Captivate 8 at the office came. Though I was not able to practice what I’ve learned during that hands-on training, I was able to use that pre-existing knowledge to self-study Articulate Storyline; thus, my first project entitled Workplace Compliance using the basic commands was conceived. You can check the project description and demo here.

Workplace Compliance
Workplace Compliance

Just a quick comparison between Adobe Captivate 8 and Articulate Storyline, they both adhere to providing interactivity to eLearning courses, aside from the fact that both are easy to use (for Adobe Captivate, if you have experience using Adobe tools and for Articulate Storyline, for those with MS Powerpoint experience). However, between the two, I like Articulate Storyline better with the ease of use and the community always available for support. I guess Adobe Captivate support for development of responsive eLearning (mobile, tablet, desktop) just takes Articulate Storyline a notch higher when it comes to features, though Storyline published content can be viewed for HTML5, andriod and iOS devices.

Going back, I usually do the following to further fuel my eLearning interest:

1)Read feeds related to eLearning. Just a year ago, I subscribed to elearningindustry.com and receive feeds everyday about the latest trends in the elearning sector. I’ve set my email client to automatically filter all the feeds to a folder and everyday,I set aside time to read on any new blogs that would enhance my knowledge about elearning. I also subscribe to other feeds from astd.org, elearningexamples.com and blogs with #elearning.

2)Invest and acquire books about elearning. In today’s world, it’s easy to acquire a book, either the physical one or the electronic type (ebook). As of the moment, the only hard copy of a book I have is Learning Articulate Storyline by Stephanie Harnett and so far, I recommend this book to those new to learning Articulate Storyline. As far as the concepts will be taken into consideration, I’ve downloaded several free ebooks from www.comlabindia.com, elearningindustry.com and iadl.org.uk that you can check out.

3)Surround yourself with people talking and practicing eLearning. In my case, I am exposed to eLearning through my workplace, where basically, part of my job is to write about elearning products and develop them. In your case, you can take advantage of the internet to do that. You can join forums on elearning, follow elearning professionals via the social media, and take part in communities that advance eLearning in your area.

4)Practice being the eLearning enthusiast that you are. One effective way to learn about something is to practice it. That’s what I’ve done so far. I’ve indulged myself in creating an elearning course to literally apply what I’ve learned. It doesn’t matter if you’re just good at one area: writing, or editing, or developing elearning courses. What matters most is that you learn and you practice what you’ve learned. You can also join #ELHChallenges at elearning heroes to build up your portfolio. The submitted demos for each challenge are really awesome that qliterally, it inspires me to be better at the courses I create.

5)Talk about eLearning. If you are interested about something (or someone), you talk about it (or him/her), right? Same with eLearning. As you learn more, share your knowledge to other people. It will not only allow you to reflect what you’ve learned but also give back to the community that helped you out when starting out to know more about eLearning. In my case, I use my blog mainly in sharing each learning nugget that I chew on.

So there. As a beginner in eLearning, learn, share what you learn and allow others to learn, just like what I’m doing. In this industry, that passion to learn more is the true foundation of being successful and being able to help others learn 🙂

Design Principles for eLearning Designers

Sharing to you one infographic I find helpful in the project I’m currently working on. 🙂 This post originally appeared in info.shiftelearning.com and tells about the Design Principles that eLearning designers should know.

Design Theories and Principles That eLearning Designer Should Know Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Design Theories and Principles That eLearning Designers Should Know

C.R.A.P. for Effective Visual Design

The 4 basic principles present in every eLearning design can be abbreviated to CRAP.
Contrast
Any two items that are not exactly the same should be very different.
Repetition
eLearning designers should repeat certain design elements throughout the course.
Alignment
Different aspects of the design should line up in columns, rows, and along a centerline.
Proximity
Developers should group related items together.

Gestalt for Coherence
There are 6 principles of Gestalt, which work together to ensure learners form a positive opinion about the design from the first glance. These principles are:
Similarity
Elements that are similar to one another merge into groups almost automatically.
Proximity
The idea that when learners sees several objects arranged together, they perceive these objects as belonging to a group.
Closure
The mind fills incomplete space with the missing information.
Simplicity
The mind will attempt to turn visual chaos into something more simple and understandable.
Continuation
The human eye naturally wants to move from one object to another.
Symmetry and order
The mind tries to perceive objects as symmetrical and based around a central point. This is because it makes sense to perceptually divide objects evenly and turn random, unconnected items into something understandable.

Dieter Rams’s Principles of Good Design
In the early 1980s, Dieter Rams set out the following 10 principles:

Good Design Is Innovative
Innovative design has the element of surprise, which stops students from becoming bored and improves learners’ ability to encode new information.

Good Design Makes a Product Useful
Learners must find content useful to find value in it. Without perceived usefulness, students will learn very little.

Good Design Is Aesthetic
Aesthetics go hand in hand with usefulness. A course must be appealing in order for users to want to spend time with the content.

Good Design Makes a Product Understandable
The “product” in this sense is the eLearning course. It should consist of content relevant to learners’ needs by taking into account the skills students currently possess while providing learners with material that will lead them to obtaining the knowledge they desire.

Good Design Is Unobtrusive
Courses are tools to fulfill a purpose; therefore, eLearning design must be unobtrusive to leave room for self-expression.

Good Design Is Honest
Modules and objectives must all promise only what they can actually offer learners. When eLearning design ensures that expectations are met, students will have set their expectations for the program accurately and will experience no let down.

Good Design Is Long Lasting
By avoiding the latest trends and fads, a course will never become outdated. Although the developer can refine the information, there will never be any need to start over completely.

Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail
Nothing about an eLearning design should be arbitrary or left to chance. Instead, every detail should be planned to meet users’ needs and desires.

Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly
The design of any product should contribute to the preservation of the environment by conserving resources as far as possible and minimizing both physical and visual pollution. In terms of an eLearning course, this means improving the learning environment of the students and creating no extra noise or pollution for learners.

Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible
Developers should focus on just the most essential aspects of the course to make it as good as it can possibly be. Adhering to this rule of simplicity ensures that learners only receive as much material as they can absorb.